My wife and I received a nice yellow flyer in the mail the other day. The informational sheet arbitrarily listed gubernatorial candidates and their stance on certain topics. I looked at the flyer as I stood there by my mailbox, dead leaves at my feet with a slight chill on my neck, and as I walked back to the house, that autumn air stirred in me something akin to purpose. Yes, summer’s fleeting green is an odd inspiration to prompt the plea for understanding regarding our current political climate (no pun intended). But that brisk air certainly helped with the intensity for my oncoming focus.
And as I adjusted myself into my chair, behind my desk and in front of my computer screen, I pondered the fact that the electoral race is down to two main candidates again. And as I pulled a wet, dead leaf from the bottom of my shoe, I thought, I’m not sure if that is much of a choice: Democrat or Republican, Left or Right; Always one or the other, and a deepening rift every year when there is so much gray regarding the topics. And honestly, I don’t agree with either side completely.
However, I do know this, I can’t support a person who doesn’t support the civil servant: teachers, nurses, first responders. How could anyone? I can’t support someone that bullies, lies, and uses name-calling; someone that attempts to sneak bills through illegally, and then when is caught, puts down the very law he is supposed to uphold. I don’t care what he says his beliefs are on healthcare or insurance, I will not vote for someone who cannot be trusted anyway. I will not be blinded by current, sometimes unsolvable issues in the face of someone I know does not care about the common person. It doesn’t matter what he politicizes, look at his actions.
Nevertheless, my allegiances to the working man are nothing compared to the loyalties of the many to the party of the man alluded to above, despite what this politician might do. Indeed, my own family and friends, despite the obvious disparities and verbal slanders that cannot be denied toward my vocation, told me they would vote for this man. Talk about choices.
Politics are going to be politics, but there is a dedication to the people that is lost in robotically choosing Democrat or Republican. The candidate we elect represents us, and I have never felt that concept more than in the last three years. I have also been horribly surprised by the audacity and outright injustice demonstrated in an official office.
I remember watching the video where the lawmakers met for the sewage-pension bill. There was a policeman standing in the background as our representatives sat around and sneakily passed the bill. I have always wondered what that policeman was thinking.
I also remember one representative asking why there wasn’t representation from the teachers or other civil servants, and the speaker refused to allow there to be representation. This is the current gubernatorial office of our state. But I don’t think these facts will deter any loyalty to the Republican Party. These facts do not seem to matter.
I know there are a lot of detrimental topics out there -most will always exist-despite who is running. And while they are important, albeit on the table every election, sometimes that candidate’s character should come into question. However, in our current political climate, character and action take a back seat to political rhetoric.
Comparatively, I just finished the new novel by Stephen King, "The Institute." There was some dialogue that hit home in the book that explains my disbelief in the devotion to our current governor. In the novel, the proverbial bad guy was talking to the protagonist, and said, “You believe what you want to believe. We all do… You’ll discover that for yourself in time. And to your sorrow.”
Brian Theodore is a language arts teacher at Corbin High School and lives in Corbin with his wife, who is also a teacher at CHS. He can be contacted at Theteachersdesk.email@example.com.